Leave alone farmers, even the people of Tamil Nadu will not use most of the vegetables produced in that State.
The vegetables, with dreadful doses of chemical fertilizers and pesticide on them, are produced ‘exclusively’ for the Kerala market.
“It is particularly true about vegetable varieties such as banana, bitter guard, cauliflower and cabbage,” says Rejul Kumar, president of ‘Green View,’ a district-based collective of organic farmers.
It is the same collective, which acted behind the novel initiative of the Kozhikode Corporation, to organise an organic food and vegetable fair titled ‘Grameenam,’ in connection with Vishu celebration this year.
Grameenam will open at the Kandamkulam Jubilee Hall in the city on Thursday. According to Mr. Rejul Kumar, who is also the organising convener of the event, it will be a great opportunity and a morale boost for the numerous organic farmers in the region. “We have several individuals as well as collectives of organic farmers, who are putting up their stalls at the fair,” says Mr. Rejul Kumar. In as many as 30 stalls, the farmers will display and sell their produces at Grameenam, where separate stalls will also sell organic and Nadan food varieties prepared by different collectives and agencies. The details of the produces including the name of the collective, or farmer, fertilizers used and the methods followed will also be displayed at their respective stalls.
“We are happy that at last there is some initiative from the part of the authorities as well to promote the organic farmers by facilitating a common selling point for them,” said Rajan Nair of Green Gain farmers’ collective at Thadampattu Thazham, which will put up a stall showcasing their organically produced snake guard, spinach and elephant yam among other things. According to V.T. Surendran, president of the Snehadeepam Residents Association at Green World area, which will float a stall at the fair, Grameenam would give a platform for the organic farmers at their group to connect with other similar collective to strengthen the marketing strategies.
“It will definitely be a great beginning for us to work towards establishing a steady and stable market for our products,” said Mr. Sreedharan, whose forum will sell organically produced Kanivellar, pumpkin, cowpea and cucumber among other things.